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Cedar Grove Compost, Wayne King, University of Florida To Receive 2017 USCC Honors at COMPOST2018

November 29, 2017

Reston, VA (Nov. 28, 2017) – A professor and student program at the University of Florida and an iconic Washington State compost manufacturing facility are among those being recognized as this year’s US Composting Council (USCC) Award winners. Awardees are nominated by peers and honored each year at the USCC’s Annual Conference and Tradeshow. This year’s program will be held at the Westin Peachtree, Atlanta, GA during the Closing Plenary on January 24, 2017 at 3:30 p.m.

Composter of the Year is being awarded to Cedar Grove Compost, Seattle, WA, for diverting more than 350,000 tons of yard trim and food scraps annually from its two facilities in the Puget Sound. The company dates back to 1938, providing jobs to 141 people in the region. The Cedar Grove team are leaders in the compost manufacturing infrastructure of the region and have helped to expand  the industry in the state through their  work in the community with compost giveaways at iconic local restaurants; and partnering with the Seattle Mariners and The Nature Conservancy on rain garden installations in the region.

The Rufus Chaney Award is awarded for excellence in compost research and will go to Dr. Monica Ozores-Hampton, Associate Professor of Horticultural Science at the University of Florida at Gainesville. She has been actively researching the effects of compost on vegetable and citrus production systems for more than 20 years. She has engaged and educated industry members, growers and regulators about the benefits of compost; and has been instrumental to facilities in the Immokalee area, promoting compost use among citrus and vegetable growers.

Wayne King will be honored with the Hi Kellogg Award for his outstanding service to the composting manufacturing industry. For over two decades, Wayne and ERTH Products have specialized in organic waste management through composting for beneficial reuse and the engineering of specialty soils for landscapes and green building projects. Wayne was one of the early pioneers to address the innovative uses of engineered soils and functional landscapes in stormwater management and land planning. He has been at the forefront in the design, engineering, specifying and promoting use of engineered soils.

Founder of ERTH Products, one of the largest compost manufacturing facilities in the nation, Wayne has been a vital member of the industry for over 25 years. Wayne has been a strong supporter of the USCC and in the development of the compost manufacturing industry at both the state and national level and he has served the USCC membership for the past 15 years as president, vice president, board member and committee chair. Wayne is also the founding President of the Georgia Composting Association and served as Chairman of the Georgia Green Industry Association (GGIA). He was a founding Board member of the University of Georgia’s Odum School of Ecology, and is currently serving on the Board of the Georgia Recycling Coalition.  

The H. Clark Gregory Award, which recognizes grassroots education and awareness of composting, will honor Alisa Keesey, Program Director of Givelove.org, who began teaching composting as a sanitation alternative after the devastating 2010 earthquake in Haiti. She has organized and trained in compost toilet systems in Nicaragua, India, and Uganda.

The Clean Water Award, which recognizes projects that have positively impacted water quality via the use of organics, will be awarded to Casella Organics. Since 1989, Casella Organics has produced and distributed custom organic products including compost, compost filter blankets, Superhumus and Erosion Control Mix (ECM) to provide improved water quality protection in the Northeast.   Since the company’s inception, more than 500,000 cubic yards of these refined products have served to protect water quality by minimizing erosion, assisting in the control of non-point source pollution and filtering run-off prior to impacting streams, rivers and lakes.

The University of Florida (UF), Gainesville’s Student Compost Cooperative will be honored with the Composting Program of the Year award which recognizes composters of less than 10,000 tons of feedstock. Since 2009, a collaboration of UF students, faculty and staff have engaged in hands-on learning at the facility where composting, sustainable and organic gardening, and innovative undertakings have fused to create the hub called the SCC.

For more information or to attend the USCC Conference award ceremony, go to www.compostingcouncil.org/awards or www.compostconference.com.